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Old 08-04-2013, 08:57 PM   #16
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Wat kind of tree do I have?


Harvesting black walnuts works like this...

First of all, you let them fall off the tree. That's when they're "ready." Pick them up immediately before the squirrels carry off the good ones, or bugs get into them. They will still be green and in the "husk." They'll look like this:


Growing up on the farm, we used to lay the green "still in husk" walnuts on a concrete slab to dry. As they're drying they'll look like this:


When dried adequately, we would husk them. Some people drive back and forth over them, with a lawn mower, to break the husks off. Others use a hammer, or whatever works. We used to use an old hand-crank corn sheller like this:


We'd lay the husked walnuts out in the sun to continue to dry. They'll look like this:


There is NO HURRY to crack them open and harvest the "meats." We usually put them in a burlap bags and hung them from rafters in a granary. To crack the tough black shell, most people use a hammer, some people use a vise, others have custom-made nutcrackers. We always just used a hammer to crack open the walnut, then a "pick" to get the meat out.


Black walnut meats do not look like English walnut meats. They'll look like this:


This is going to be a harvesting process that will take several years to perfect. In addition to that, walnut trees do not produce the same amount of walnuts every year. So you kind of have to start with the basics, and perfect your process. The bottom line is that it's a heckuva lot of work for limited success. But the walnut meats you do get, will be well worth getting.


Good luck!

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Old 08-04-2013, 10:04 PM   #17
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Wat kind of tree do I have?


I toured a pistachio farm in Alamogordo, NM and they had all sorts of machinery to help process the nuts. The complete nut is the most valuable, but then they use vibrating gravity tables and centrifuges and vacuums in order to collect as many pieces of meat as they can.

Lots of times walnuts are just ground up and used in cakes and cookies and candies.

Why can't someone come up with a way to just chop up the nuts, then separate the meat from the shell?

I know I could come up with several pick-up loads of walnuts from not too many trees.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:06 PM   #18
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Wat kind of tree do I have?


There was a gal around here who used to sell walnut meats from time to time at auctions and I seem to recall them fetching about $16/pint.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:41 PM   #19
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Wat kind of tree do I have?


Well, let me tell you this, The tree had much more in it than I imagined & I trimmed the tree & will say the blacker the better, The need to be dry.
I have two completely stained hands right now because as i started to work with them I was not wearing gloves & now have dark red/Brown hands & wonder how to get the stain off?

Anyways , Its a lot of work getting these ready to eat.
My wife looked up on line & found that you should fill a bucket full of water & the ones that float are trash?
So I did this & found 96% of the did not float.

& as far as the lava, they only seem to be found in the greener ones the softer/moister the husk the more they have to eat.

I assuming at this point that the Hard shell hopefully keeps them worms out of the nut meat?
I will find out soon enough.....

Once I get through husking them i will lay them out to dry.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:27 AM   #20
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Only time and work will get those stains off your hands. They should be gone in a week.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleveman View Post
Only time and work will get those stains off your hands. They should be gone in a week.
I'll never forget to wear gloves doing this again!

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